If you have negative opinions about Bronies, DON’T STOP READING. For starters, this highlights the most bookish episodes of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, so you should be able to find common ground in that. Secondly, don’t knock the show and its fans if you haven’t seen it or met them.* With movements like We Need Diverse Books gaining ground every year, the least we can do is be open-minded and inclusive across all types of media and fandoms. But on to the books!
Protagonist Twilight Sparkle is a studious, bookish unicorn who initially has to learn that it’s important to have friends outside of her isolating studies. Books are a mainstay throughout the TV series, and even though various aspects of friendship are usually the ultimate problem-solver, Twilight and her friends frequently consult her many books as an important resource. SHE ALSO LIVES IN A LIBRARY AND IT MAKES ME EXTREMELY JEALOUS.
Look Before You Sleep | Season 1, Episode 8
Due to a massive storm, fashion-forward Rarity and plainspoken Applejack are trapped overnight with Twilight, who wants to have a by-the-book slumber party. As in, exactly from a book about how to have a successful slumber party. But before the night has even begun, the disparate nature of her friends’ personalities threaten to jeopardize the fun.
Read it and Weep | Season 2, Episode 16
Brash, athletic pegasus Rainbow Dash is sidelined by a broken wing and bored to death staying in bed all day. When Twilight lends her the first of the Daring Do adventure books, she refuses to read it, calling reading an “egghead” activity. However, she eventually breaks down and discovers what we already know – that reading is AWESOME! (Side note: you can actually purchase Daring Do books, in addition to the generic show tie-in books.)
Daring Don’t | Season 4, Episode 4
Two seasons later, Rainbow Dash is ready to explode from excitement over the release of the next Daring Do book. When news of a publication delay is announced, she decides she’ll go help author A.K. Yearling finish (small nod to J.K. Rowling!). However, the fictional stories turn out not to be fiction at all, and Rainbow Dash is sucked into a real-life adventure.
Power Ponies | Season 4, Episode 6
Twilight’s dragon companion, Spike, accidentally gets himself and the six friends sucked into a comic book. The only way to get back to the real world is to use Spike’s knowledge of the comics to harness their new superpowers and defeat the villain.
Trade Ya! | Season 4, Episode 22
At the Rainbow Falls Traders Exchange, Rainbow Dash is on a quest to trade for the only first-edition Daring Do book she doesn’t own. Twilight decides to trade away some of her old books, but hyperactive Pinkie Pie thinks she’s giving them away for too little and takes over Twilight’s trading stall.
Inspiration Manifestation | Season 4, Episode 23
Spike discovers a magic book that allows Rarity to manifest anything she imagines. She begins to redecorate Ponyville with…questionable results.
*A note on Bronies. Certainly, young girls are the intended audience of MLP: Friendship is Magic. But why should that stop adults from enjoying it too? How many of us have unabashedly re-watched a favorite Disney film after crossing the threshold of legal adulthood? Movies and shows don’t have to be riddled with testosterone and explosions for adult men (and women) to enjoy them. MLP is excellently written, voiced and animated, with gentle humor and solid messages about friendship and celebrating differences. If you’re not convinced, try one of these episodes for yourself, or the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. Bronies love MLP the same way we love books, creating art, music and events surrounding their passion just like book lovers do. Not understanding a fandom isn’t an excuse to ridicule it. So pony up and give it a try!